Top five ways every man can be healthier

How men can be healthierDid you know that women are twice as likely to go in for an annual check-up than men are? Or that the average woman lives almost six years longer than the average man? Or that men have a higher risk for heart disease and cancer? Facts like these make it all the more important for men to be pro-active about staying healthy.

Unfortunately, that may not come naturally to you. That’s why we broke it down into five easy steps. Follow these and know you’re finally taking charge of your well-being.

  1. Get screened.  Seeing your doctor isn’t just for when you’re sick. Many of the major health issues like heart disease, diabetes and cancer can be treated early or prevented if you go and get regular screenings. Every person should follow a different schedule based on their age and family history, but here’s a good start: Get your blood pressure checked every two years, cholesterol every five years and fasting blood sugar every three years. Once you hit your 50s, add colon cancer, prostate cancer and lung cancer screenings to the list.
  2. Improve your eating. It turns out that men and women don’t have the same nutritional requirements. Because men are typically larger and have more muscle mass thanks to testosterone, they need more calories every day (somewhere between 2,000 and 2,800). You also need to make sure you’re eating enough protein (divide your weight by 2.2 to find out how many grams you should eat a day).
  3. Drink a little less. A recent study in the journal Neurology showed that middle-aged men who drink heavily have a higher risk of memory loss and see more of a decline in other cognitive functions than women who drink heavily. What’s the right amount? Stick to two drinks a day if you’re under the age of 65.
  4. Move a little more. Exercise is good for everyone, but especially for men as they age. A new study published in the journal Hypertension found that men over the age of 70 who were the most cardiovascularly fit had a 48 percent lower risk of dying than those who were the least fit. That doesn’t mean you have to go sign up for a triathlon—the researchers said that walking for 30 minutes most days was a good goal.
  5. Listen to your feelings. While women are more likely to dwell on unhappy situations, men are likelier to try to escape from them. That may mean drug and alcohol abuse, showing sadness as anger or just clamming up and not talking to anyone. If you are concerned that you have depression, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has a list of mental health treatment programs by state.

 

This blog post is part of #HealthyMe, a personalized web experience based on your health and wellness goals. To sign up today, visit http://www.ahealthiermichigan.org/healthyme.

 

Photo credit: Christiana Care

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